• Gicheru surrendered to the ICC on November 2, 2020 pursuant to an arrest warrant issued on March 10, 2015 by Pre-Trial Chamber II of the ICC.
• The closing remarks will be made at 11pm Kenyan time at the International Criminal Court at Hague.
The ICC is Monday expected to issue closing remarks in lawyer Paul Gicheru’s witness interference trial in Kenya's post-poll violence case.
The court said it will make the remarks at 11pm Kenyan time at the International Criminal Court in the Hague.
“Today at the ICC: Closing statements in the Gicheru trial, concerning charges of offences against the administration of justice in Kenya,” the ICC said on Monday.
Gicheru surrendered to the ICC on November 2, 2020 pursuant to an arrest warrant issued on March 10, 2015 by Pre-Trial Chamber II of the ICC.
The Kenyan lawyer is accused of offences against the administration of justice by corruptly influencing witnesses of the Court.
He allegedly bribed witnesses to either recant their testimonies or refuse to testify in the crimes against humanity case that faced DP William Ruto and former journalist Joshua Sang.
Cases against the two were officially terminated in April 2016 after they were found to have no case to answer.
"According to the majority, this decision does not preclude new prosecution in the future either at the ICC or in a national jurisdiction. This decision may be subject to appeal," the court said
During proceedings against Gicheru, the prosecutor described the lawyer as one who avoided eye contact and that he was nervous and evasive.
On November 25, 2021, ICC deputy prosecutor James Stewart said that Gicheru corrupted witness in coordination with Ruto.
Ruto and Sang were charged with six counts of crimes against humanity arising out of the post-election violence that followed the 2007 general election in Kenya.
In a 122-paged document dated November 22, Stewart said Gicheru is criminally responsible for eight counts of corruptly influencing witnesses individually as a direct perpetrator or jointly with other members of a common plan as a direct co-perpetrator.
What was the plan?
The common plan encompassed the identification, location and contacting of Prosecution Witnesses, and offering and/or paying them financial benefits.
Gicheru also allegedly threatened or intimidated witnesses in order to induce them to withdraw as Prosecution Witnesses.
"The ultimate goal of the Common Plan was to undermine the Prosecution case in the Ruto and Sang case by preventing Prosecution Witnesses," Stewart said.
The prosecution said Ruto risks being charged with corruptly influencing a witness under Article 70(1)c which could earn him five years for every count.
Stewart explained in detail that the Common Plan materialised by April 2013 and continued until at least the close of the Prosecution’s case in Ruto and Sang on September 10, 2015.
Executing the plan
In order to implement the Common Plan, the members each provided essential contributions.
Gicheru and other Managers were responsible for the essential tasks of directing and coordinating the activities of Common Plan Members.
They decided which Prosecution Witnesses should be targeted; negotiating and deciding how much they would be offered and/or paid.
They also ensured that the necessary finances were available to pay the bribes agreed, or at least a portion thereof and intimidating Prosecution Witnesses with threats of adverse consequences if they failed to cooperate.